Battle of Fýrisvellir

Battle of Fýrisvellir
Efter slaget vid Fyrisvall.jpg
After the battle of Fýrisvellir, by Mårten Eskil Winge (1888).
Datec. 984
Location
ResultSwedish victory
Belligerents
The Swedish leidangJomsvikings
Commanders and leaders
Eric the VictoriousStyrbjörn the Strong
Strength
ThousandsUnknown
The Sjörup Runestone near Ystad commemorating a dead son "who did not flee at Uppsala", which has been linked with the Battle of Fýrisvellir.

The Battle of Fýrisvellir was a battle for the throne of Sweden which was fought in the 980s on the plain called Fýrisvellir, where modern Uppsala is situated, between King Eric the Victorious and his nephew Styrbjörn the Strong. It is mentioned in a number of medieval sources, such as Eyrbyggja saga, Knýtlinga saga, Hervarar saga and Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum (Book 10), but the most detailed account is found in the short story Styrbjarnar þáttr Svíakappa.

Prelude

Styrbjörn had made himself the ruler of the Jomsvikings but wanted to amass an even greater force in order to take the crown of Sweden, which the Swedish Thing had denied him on his father's death, a death of poisoning of which he suspected his uncle Eric.

Styrbjörn's method was to pillage far and wide in the newly created kingdom of Denmark until its king Harald Bluetooth asked for a settlement. Harald gave Styrbjörn his daughter Tyra as his wife and Styrbjörn went away, but he then returned to Denmark with 1000 longships. He forced the Danes to give him 200 ships and whoever among them he saw fit to take with him, including the king himself. He then set sail for Sweden with his armada of longships.